May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be always with you!
As I write this e-mail, Elaine is in the office next door to me working on compiling the 2022 Annual Report. This is always a busy month around the church office as reports get finalized - I love the buzz at this time of year, as the different groups and committees report on everything that they have been doing in the past year, as well as looking forward to what we might do as the church in the year ahead of us.
Last Sunday, at both services, Ross Sherwood presented our three congregations with our Mission & Service certificates for 2021. (The 2022 certificates will arrive later this year, but he also confirmed that we met our target last year, raising over $21,500 between our three congregations.) As he was presenting these certificates he said, "I love our buildings - we all love our buildings - but church is really what happens outside these walls. Church is Ida's Cupboard. Church is supporting people we will never meet across Canada and around the world through Mission & Service. Church is making sandwiches for Romero House." To that, I would add that church is offering a space for our local Guides and Scouts to meet. Church is phoning a neighbour who is struggling to see how they are doing. Church is surrounding a family who has lost a loved one with love and with casseroles.
The main thing that we do in our building is worship, and worship is important. Worship grounds us and all of our work in God, it strengthens and inspires us for the work that we do, and it brings us together as a community. But church is so much more than worship. Every time we are loving God and loving our neighbour, we are churching.
I am so grateful to be serving a church that churches so well, both within and outside of the walls of our building!
Along the lines of the annual report, here is another reminder of our annual meeting dates:
Two Rivers Pastoral Charge - Wed. Feb. 15, 7:30pm
Long Reach United Church - Sun. Feb. 19 at 9:00am
Westfield United Church - Sun. Feb. 19 at 11:15am
Long Reach United Church - Sun. Feb. 26 at 9:00am
If you are new to Two Rivers Pastoral Charge, we do our congregational annual meetings woven together with worship, so the bulletin becomes the agenda. (This year at Long Reach and Westfield, the Annual Meeting worship service will conclude with communion.) Prior to the annual meetings, I will do congregation-specific e-mails to send out the minutes from last year's meeting.
In terms of other announcements this week:
Worship this Sunday will be at 9:15 at Summerville and 11:15 at Westfield and on Facebook Live. We will be reading one of my favourite Old Testament passages this week - Micah 6:1-8 - what does God require of us? (Hint - I think that it might be connected with what we talked about last Sunday, changing our hearts and our lives.)
Youth Connection will be meeting this Sunday evening - Ken will be sending out more details as we get closer, so watch your e-mail!
I am going to be on Study Leave next week (Jan. 30 - Feb. 5 inclusive), in order to attend the Network of Biblical Storytellers virtual gathering. This means that there isn't going to be a mid-week message next week, or bible study (sorry bible study folks - I forgot to mention this when we gathered this morning!), and Session has arranged for Kathy Roy to offer pulpit supply on Feb. 5 at both Long Reach and Westfield.
Our February Broadview gathering is going to be on Monday February 6 at 10am at Westfield United Church. We are going to watch a short documentary (subject to be determined), then have a discussion about it, and how it connects with our faith. Everyone is invited to join us!
And I think that is it for announcements this week!
As a closing thought, a couple of nights ago, I finished a fabulous book, Fayne by Ann-Marie MacDonald. She is one of those authors where I will buy any book she writes, so I was excited last fall to learn that she had a new book out, and even more excited when she did a reading and book signing at the Saint John Public Library in November. You can read my full review of this book by clicking here.
Blessings to you and yours, today and always!
Rev. Kate Jones Two Rivers Pastoral Charge (506) 757-2201 (office) (506) 343-1307 (mobile) www.tworiverspastoralcharge.com Pronouns: she/her/hers "Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the law?"
Jesus replied, "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: "You must love your neighbour as you love yourself."